Do you want to build a lean defined set of abs? You know the kind that every app-related youtube video has been promising you, well in order to achieve your goals you have to ignore all the bullshit and stick to the facts instead of promising shortcuts. So here are the 6 rules to finally get that 6 pack abs.
6 Easy rules to get 6 pack abs
1. Wrong focus
The first rule is don’t focus too much on app training. This sounds strange right because in order to build 6 pack abs you have to train them. While this is true you should know that more does not always mean better.
First of all your abs are just a regular muscle in your body. That means you don’t have to train them differently.
There’s no need and also no benefit to working out your abs every day with too many exercises and endless sets and reps.
Second, in order to stay healthy and build an evenly trained body, you have to work on the antagonists of your abs as well. This means you have to train the muscles on the backside of your body in a balanced way.
It’s also not a good idea to neglect other muscles on your upper and lower body for ab training only. The foundation of every training program should be compound exercises like squats, push-ups, pull-ups, rows, or any kind of basic lifts.
2. Reduce hip flexor involvement to get 6 pack abs
The second rule is don’t use your hip flexors too much. Training your abs is nearly useless if you’re doing it wrong. If you can’t do an exercise properly or if you just lack concentration you will waste your time and potential.
Your rectus abdominis aka the six-pack contracts like any other muscle. You simply move your muscle origin and insertion together. It’s possible to do this when you flex your thoracic spine, when you do a pass your pelvic tilt or when you do both movements at the same time.
Exercises like leg lifts and leg or knee raise focus more on the ab contraction through the posterior pelvic tilt. So in order to work your abs properly, you have to maintain the right position and with that muscle tension.
If you are arching your lower back in any of these movements you simply shift the focus towards your hip flexors and those muscles are usually not the ones that need to get stronger.
3. Include rotation & Lateral flexion
The third rule is to include rotation and lateral flexion to get 6 pack abs. As already explained your body should be trained evenly. We already talked about the muscles on the backside of your body, but what about the other abdominal muscles.
To build well-trained 6 pack abs you have to include exercises for your obliques as well. The main function of the obliques is rotation and lateral flexion.
So instead of only flexing and extending your spine you should include those movements as well. This is not only important to build a balanced core but also for your spinal health.
A healthy spine is mobile and stable in different positions so don’t neglect these movements.
4. Don’t train abs to burn belly fat
The fourth rule is don’t train your abs to burn belly fat. Some people heavily focus on ab training because they believe they can burn fat in the exact same area they train.
While an ab exercise program can lead to abdominal fat loss, it’s still not necessarily evidence of spot reduction because you could also lose a similar amount of fat in other areas as well.
Exercise increases energy expenditure. So if you burn more calories across the day than you consume in your diet your body will burn some of its own energy stores like those in your fat tissue to make up the difference.
Some of this fat may come from areas you exercised, but you may have lost the same amount of fat if you had performed a different form of exercise with the same energy expenditure.
There are lots of studies about this topic and a few say that spot reduction exists while many others denied it.
So what’s the conclusion? Spot reduction may not be a myth after all but its effect is not that significant and there are way more effective ways to burn belly fat.
Fixing your diet, burning more calories in general, and building more muscle mass to increase your total energy expenditure is way more important than spot reduction training.
5. Rethink core training to get 6 pack abs
The fifth rule is to rethink core training. Core training is like a buzzword in the modern fitness world. Often people think that core training is mostly about your abs in the first place. But the core is made of all the muscles of your midsection.
This includes muscles on the front, sides, and back of your body as well as many muscles you can see. Some pages or videos talk about core training to hit your abs even if the exercises have a stronger focus on other muscles.
Exercises like planches and front levers are perfect examples of this. These exercises are heavily relying on muscles like the lats, shoulders, and other important muscles around your shoulder plates.
The amount of abdominal strength you need to do them is way lower than you might think. In most cases, you have to pause the exercise because the key muscles can’t produce any more strength, even if your abdominals are not even close to fatigue.
Don’t get me wrong, of course, you will hit your abs with these exercises. But they are more challenging for other muscles and not the number one choice if you want to target your abs in the first place.
6. Abs are uncovered in the kitchen
The sixth and last rule is abs are uncovered in the kitchen. No matter how many hours of crunches or leg raises you do you won’t be able to see a six-pack if you got too much body fat.
So in order to achieve your goal you have to fix your diet too. You need a smart meal plan adapted to your training program to lower your body fat percentage and uncover your abs. Otherwise, all of your hard work will not lead to the desired results.
If you’re having a hard time changing your eating habits and don’t know how to start you can take a single step at a time.
Start by drinking more water instead of soft drinks. Try to keep more fruits, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, and whole-grain foods at home and at work.
Focus on adding healthy foods to your diet rather than only taking unhealthy foods away. Pack a healthy lunch and snacks for work. Meal prep helps you to have more control over what you eat.
Do not go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, being hungry lets you buy more junk food and calorie bumps than when you are not hungry at all.
Thanks for reading. If you like this article don’t forget to share it with your friends. Happy exercising!